CMA Petitions Court To Prevent Raiding of Medical Board Funds
On Tuesday, the California Medical Association filed a petition with the state Supreme Court to prevent state officials from taking surplus funds from the Medical Board of California, the AP/Ventura County Star reports.
CMA filed its lawsuit after former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) borrowed $6 million from the medical board in 2008, at a time when the board had a $24 million surplus.
The state plans to borrow an additional $9 million from the medical board this year, when the agency's surplus is expected to hit about $26 million.
The medical board is not supported by the state's general fund. The board's revenues primarily come from fees paid by physicians for licensing and other activities.
In its petition, CMA alleges that the medical board's licensing and enforcement activity has slowed because the state has not repaid the loans it has taken.
CMA President James Hinsdale said the group wants to be sure that its funds are used "to protect patients and properly regulate the profession."
H. D. Palmer, deputy director of the state Department of Finance, said the state has the authority to borrow surplus funds if the loan "doesn't have any material impact on operations of a particular entity."
Palmer added that the state only would need to repay the loan if the medical board could demonstrate need (Mohajer, AP/Ventura County Star, 5/10).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.